The Question of Inner Experience

Moderator: Doug Marman

Re: The Question of Inner Experience

Postby Ben on Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:29 pm

Signon wrote; Chapter 4 of the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad Book 1, Chapter 4 makes the following assertion: “The ECKist must always practice the Kundun, the presence, whether or not he can see this inner body of the Master. It can, however, be noted many times by the outer manifestations of things such as the protection gained, the great feeling of love which surrounds the chela, the improvement of his welfare and the attainment of spiritual knowledge. All is given freely to the ECKist after he has passed into the inner worlds via Soul Travel”.

I am grateful for these words as this has been more in line with my experience. I think it makes little difference if one sees the inner form of the Master or if one experiences an overwhelming feeling of peace and love and gratitude instead or whatever else may be the case, if our inner experiences leads to an awareness of the total supportive nature of the Universe, then I think it matters not in the way inner experience makes itself known.

I like to think that the miracle of existence and the gratitude of an awareness of that miracle is enough. If one doesn't see the inner form of the master or hears beautiful music on the inner planes then it doesn't matter, the miracle of the moment is enough to be happy with and the inner peace that comes with it. To me the inner peace is the beautiful music in a way or the overwhelming gratitude is like the presence of the master. Experience brings about a blossoming of love and so then it must be our best friend, no matter what way it comes to us, seeing it does come to us in different ways.

When we compare our inner experiences with others inner experiences we set ourselves up for dissapointment. The same holds true if so and so says this is supposed to happen or will happen and then it doesn't. The attitude of 'existence is enough, I am grateful', saves us from all this dissapointment and drama.

This gratitude helps one to see the supportive nature of the Universe, the support of the Universe becomes a working, living, experience in our lives. A person gradually becomes aware of so much guidance in the simple daily experiences we have when one becomes open to them, the waking dreams, the golden-tongue wisdom, etc.

I pick up Doug's book "The WholeTruth" before copying what I've written to look for something that was of interest to me, I flicker through the pages and here are the words of Babuji on one of them.

" To obtain the bliss of Shabd, the sound current, or to remain absorbed internally or externally in the darshan of Sant Sat Guru amounts to the same thing. If slowly and gradually Soul emerges in perfect humility and submissiveness accompanied with a sense of gratitude and thankfulness, even once, and also engenders love for the Sant Sat Guru....even for a moment, this is far superior to performing spiritual practices for ages....
Where the current of Shabd becomes centered, there is Nam (the name or word for God). It is only through contact with the current of Shabd that karmas can be eradicated, slowly and gradually. Therefore we should make this current our sustenance and support. It will bring us serenity and comfort in the face of calamities and will, by and by, develop a power of endurance so that we will be less disturbed by them." Babuji..

The awareness of this support is one of the most beautiful things that experience leads to. One realizes we are on a heroes journey and we are all heroes for partaking in such a journey. For me inner experience is best gained by dedicating time away from the marketplace, time to contemplate our or my relationship with the Universe but the challenge is to maintain the awareness of this relationship in the marketplace. Sometimes I get stuck and forget and feel like I'm going backwards and this is where the awareness of a supportive Universe is a big help, we are not abandoned, we are loved. Cheers.
Ben
 
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Re: The Question of Inner Experience

Postby Doug Marman on Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:34 pm

Ben,

The person who wrote to me and asked if I could start a discussion on this topic was wondering why so many people who don't have experiences would stay on the path, and I think you gave a perfect answer.

However, I would add one thing: The feeling of peace and love and gratitude you gained are inner experiences, just as much as visually seeing the presence of a Master or another plane of consciousness.

What I've found, is that if I look closely at even the subtlest of inner touches that came come in a moment of inspiration, there is indeed a complete spiritual event behind it. So, on the inner, it in fact is the exact kind of inner experience the questioner was asking about.

What this means is that most people gain the benefits because they are having inner experiences, but the full awareness on the outer doesn't always come through.

But I think there is more to this issue, because when I've looked closely at even my most dramatic spiritual experiences, there is also always an element of projection in them. In other words, visually seeing a Master doesn't completely mean that the experience was only about a meeting with someone else. It was a part of myself that was revealing itself at the same time, as well. So, the visual element was showing me the experience in a more dramatic way, but this wasn't the core of what the experience really was. It was simply putting it in a way I could relate to.

In other words, which is more real: The visual experience of the Master, or the peace and love that came with it?

I think the peace and love are proof of a shift in consciousness, and this is more real than the visual elements or the phenomenal parts of an experience, because the changes in our beingness are what matters most, not our interpretations with our minds.

That's why I think the dramatic visual experience or hearing vividly the inner sounds are secondary, because those are forms we can relate to in our human consciousness, while the fullness of the inner reality is something much greater than these, and only Soul can absorb the full benefit.

The power of a dramatic experience is that it registers deeply when we have it, but this doesn't last. Our changes in consciousness, however, change us in ways that we can never go back to seeing life the way we saw it before. Sometimes it can be subtle, but over time we expand in how we see and experience life. That's what gives us the realization of the real truth of the spiritual path, and why I think people stay with it even without dramatic experiences.

Thanks for putting it so well.

Doug.
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Re: The Question of Inner Experience

Postby Ben on Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:52 pm

Thankyou Doug,
I have pondererd these things many times but have never viewed it the way you mentioned. I am somewhat elated with what you,ve written. Your view gives me something more to work with, a broadening of perception, like a light bulb being turned on. Much appreciative. Ben
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Re: The Question of Inner Experience

Postby mountainangel on Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:27 am

Those are great points, Ben and Doug, perhaps phenomena are only an outer manifestation of the Inner awareness or the inner shift in consciousness. My understanding is that at some point the yard stick one uses to measure ones’ Spiritual progress shifts from the looking at the quantity of phenomena one experiences to ...., well, something else – my mind has just gone blank on what that something else is, perhaps it's something the reader has to discover his or herself.
As to the question of what keeps someone on a Spiritual Path when they are not experiencing the same phenomena as others, I would conjecture that they are experiencing God’s Love in other ways. Personally, I can get lost in phenomena and lose sight of the physical world that I need to live in and survive in at the moment. Even reading a good novel can set me imagining other aspects that could be written in to the novel for the rest of the day. A vivid Soul Travel Experience can set me thinking about it a bit too much where I have difficulty focusing on my work and earning my living. I experience just enough of the outer indications of spiritual awareness to simultaneously maintain my balance in the lower worlds and learn to apply whatever I am experiencing to my physical day to day existence.
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Re: The Question of Inner Experience

Postby Ben on Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:18 am

Hi Mountainangel, I wander if that something else yardstick you speak of is a growing acceptance. I find the more I accept what life offers and all the things about myself and others, the good and not so good the more in tune with life i become. Some days a flow just happens with no or little resistance, just an acceptance. I think if our acceptance is growing then it is a sure sign we are doing just fine.

On the subject of dramatic experience or not so dramatic. I was walking along a valley trail recently and was looking back on life and the control I used to be involved in, all the attempts to make my life work and these thoughts led to a realization that I know absolutely nothing, I couldn't help but rejoice in the knowledge of knowing nothing. It occured to me to live like I had been is like living in a valley, one can only see what's in the valley. From that day on a deeper trust in life knowing what is best has been with me. No bells or whistles in the experience but yes a profound change.

I had been looking at dramatic visual experiences being somehow more valuable, like if you go on an inner journey in full conciousness in the presence of the Master and see majestic light and landscapes along with the words of wisdom the master speaks then that may be a stronger sign of one's incarnations ending here. The way Doug explained it in his post has in a sense lifted the veil of viewing it that way. The lasting changes being more important than the visuals makes a lot of sense. My own inner wisdom in the meantime was saying to be grateful with whatever comes along. Gratitude being the the most powerful working component on the spiritual path for me, I had no problem with doing that but the way i was looking at it was still lingering.

This has been a good lesson in the importance of sharing like this. May our paths cross again one day soon Mountainangel on this forum. Cheers, Ben
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Re: The Question of Inner Experience

Postby mountainangel on Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:49 am

Ah, Ben, thank you so much. I really appreciate your thoughts on acceptance. It gives a greater depth to the statement that your state of consciousness is your state of acceptance. It is interesting how many ways such a simple statement can be interpreted. But I don’t want to be straying too far off subject here.

An additional understanding of this topic recently occurred to me: I recently was on a week and a half long trip. My husband put some of the houseplants in the basement (which is rather dark) so they would stay cooler and not need water until we returned. Two of the plants were actually lavender plants that I had made cuttings of last fall intending to plant them in the garden or sell at the farmer’s market this summer. However, I had thought they had died. They sprouted back in early spring and then dried up and dropped their little leaves in the bright sun of the living room window. I watered them now and then hoping they would come back to life. They like bright sun and very little water is what I had read. So I told my husband, you might as well toss out the lavender, I don’t see any point in putting them in the basement. He put them in the basement anyway. When we came back on Sunday there were two and 3 inch sprouts of growth up and down the stems on both plants. The thought occurred to me that when we are surrounded by the light we may not recognize or appreciate it. When plunged into darkness we perk up and start looking for the light.
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Re: The Question of Inner Experience

Postby Ben on Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:04 pm

So true, Mountainangel, and we eventually learn it's in the appreciation and not taking it for granted that keeps the darkness at bay and at some stage makes it disappear altogether. What once were dark miserable days are now only cloudy days, like the ebb and flow of a calm oceans tide. . Ben
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Re: The Question of Inner Experience

Postby xaaska on Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:13 pm

I agree it should make great topic for discussion. Personally I wish to add the follow to it.

What leads to spiritual experiences and how important are they?


The first part of the questions is what we mean by spiritual experience?
The answer is already covered by other contributors but if I may repeat it is that experience in the human state of consciousness is spiritual experience as much as other experiences beyond the human state are also spiritual experiences.

The second part of the question is ’ what leads ( one ) to spiritual experiences’?

It is the longing for Soul to unfold spiritually which leads one to spiritual experiences. That is why we are here as Soul in human embodiment inherent with limitations simple to gain knowledge about those aspects of existence. Some of us when we feel that we have had enough knowledge about the conditions in this reality may decide for example to consciously explore higher states of being in other dimensions of existence even though we may be running physical body in here.

Furthermore spiritual experiences are important as they are the primary mode by which Soul as an individual spark of God can become useful to creation.

What is the difference between those who explore spirituality out of curiosity and those who continue with a spiritual path their whole lives? Is there a difference in their inner experiences


There is difference in their inner experiences because it is the primary intention which is the causative factor! Only God loving intention and endeavour can bring one to the highest abode of love,

The dispenser of spiritual gifts is the All-knowing Life Force Who knows not only our deepest desires but also our deepest needs. Not being free one is always in Its loving embrace entwined eternally with Its guiding Light and Sound. It is my conviction that whatever comes to a person in his life is for his own good; even when one is exploring spirituality out of curiosity it can be the first stepping stone to his/her Spiritual Path. Curiosity as insincere act won’t probably do the trick though. The person will eventually find this out and correct his action.

If someone stays with a spiritual path their whole live there has to be a reason as to why they are doing that; probably the Path has something to offer them yet. As there is no hurry in the scheme of Life they have all eternity to grow out of successive spiritual Paths before they come to their Godhead. Therefore an attitude that everything is in its rightful place in the scheme of Life is healing to the emotions and is a wise choice to assume.

Why are some people not gaining any conscious awareness of inner experiences?


There are several factors. The personal ones are when one cannot accept that he is more than the body and cannot believe that other dimensions do exists; or assumes that the Universe is indifferent onlooker which does not care about his welfare then that person remains in amnesia because the person has closed the door to himself. When the person revokes his attitude sooner or later conscious awareness of the inner experiences comes in waves or in drops depending on how much he can handle- or need.

There can be universal factors which can also account for this.

What should our goal be, or our expectations ?


Our Goal should be to come Home in the Kingdom of God inside us in this Life or the next one. We should expect that the Path is prepared for us and that we have voluntarily to follow the trail that leads us to It.

How do we judge our progress?


Just cultivate the attitude that as there is no wave apart from the ocean likewise there is no Spirit apart from Spirit. How you redefine your identity determines your progress!

Peace and LOVE

Xaaska
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Aware or not to be Aware!

Postby farshid on Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:46 pm

Life is like a big puzzle. And the purpose of this puzzle after finishing is showing us who really we are! Showing Self realization and God realization to us. Each part of this big puzzle is an experience. Imagine this big puzzle with enormous parts. If we don’t have wisdom solving this puzzle maybe take more time and also we will be confuse and lose the life time to finish it completely. What happen at this situation? Nothing too much important! It is Game Over time for Soul and Soul should have another Reincarnation. :lol: BOOOM…. and Restart bottom will press with Karma Lords for soul! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: (enjoy life baby! :lol: ) And soul should try again in its short time life to solve a little more this puzzle.
I am agree with Mountainangel and Doug, all the people have more or less inner experience because they live as soul in many inner worlds and also inner and outer life are mixed with each other and every problem in our life is for teaching how complete this puzzle. Each kind of experiences like that: Dream, Golden tongue of wisdom, Soul travel, Intuition and etc. help us put together parts of this puzzle.
More interesting thing is that every body has different puzzle shape and finishing picture! Great SUGMAD destined for each soul to have different way to reach to Ocean of Love and Mercy.
About opening topic question I just tell my story. I am a seeker of truth and just God. Nothing satisfies me. It is my idea that real seeker should full his heart with love and just WANT the truth. An old talk says that:
When seeker is ready Master will be appear. And will help seeker to complete the puzzle.
Baraka Bashad
With love
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Re: The Question of Inner Experience

Postby ali on Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:25 am

I am going to take this question to a whole new level.

Firstly "what leads to spiritual experiences and how important are they"

The human spirit grows just as the human body grows. Difference being is that the human body grows with time and life, and there is no real control for it, it has a set time and it has a set destination, and as time progresses, the human body out of the control of the one whom it has been given to, has no control over how fast or slow it continues to change, and at which point it stops changing, it is like a vessel which follows a set path.

The Human soul however, grows on a whole new level, it grows based on actions, it can grow into something evil, or it can then depreciate in evil and begin to increase and grow into something good or vice versa. If it continues to grow into something good and the habits which it did to grow into something good, can become cultivated and rooted into that soul, which results in that soul permanently becoming good, however anything can still happen and change, and anything can still turn out into something that was not expected, for example the Devil in Islam, worshiped God for 6000 years, and reached the soul level of an angel, despite that his being/essence is a Jinn(another creature of creation of God) nevertheless, he fell from the high position of angel and fell to the lowest position of evil/shaytaan. Shaytaan can even be earned by the soul of a human being, it is not something exclusive to Jinn.

A reference to this from Rumi's poetry which is usually badly understood is this poem:

I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels blest; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e'er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones, To Him we shall return.

Here Rumi is describing the states of the soul, and the reference for this from the Quran are these verses:

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficient, The Merciful
1." By the Fig and the Olive, "
2. "And (Mount) Tur of Sinin,"
3. "And this city of security (Mecca),"
4. "We have indeed created man in the best of moulds,"
5. "Then We render him the lowest of the low,"
6. "Save those who believe and do righteous deeds, for them is a reward unending."
7. "What then makes you reject thereafter the Last Judgement?"
8. "1s not Allah the Most Just of judges?"

You can find the explanation to these verses here:http://www.al-islam.org/enlighteningv2/24.htm if you are interested into the explanation of this complete "surah"

But i bring your attention to :

4. "We have indeed created man in the best of moulds,"
5. "Then We render him the lowest of the low,"
6. "Save those who believe and do righteous deeds, for them is a reward unending."

As these verses indicate(as well as Rumi's poetry)that the human soul starts at the lowest point(for those who might think that the term man here refers to the physical vessel, then i bring your attention to the last part where it says "for them is eternal reward" clearly indicates that we are talking about the one that will be rewarded and will endure forever i.e the soul because clearly the body dies and if it is dead cannot receive the eternal rewards, but the soul continues to live)

And to make reference to Rumi's poetry again, "I died as a mineral and became a plant" is showing us spiritual growth.

The question is that "why does he use died here and does it have reference to physical death"

Again here this must be referenced to the Quran, where God talks about those who are "Do not think of those slain in the way of God as dead, nay they are living but ye perceive it not, for them is an everlasting reward and provision"

Here again God is talking on the esoteric meaning which has been described by those "spiritual traveler of Islamic "irfan" namely tabatabi who wrote the "tafseer(or explanation of the Quranic verses)" explain this as spiritual wayfering and dying from habits and actions and love for thing of that realm of the soul, and becoming something else, or growing spiritually into other levels of soul

And again from the Quran:

[al-Baqarah 2:65] And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed
in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: "Be ye apes, despised
and rejected."

[al-A`raf 7:166-167] When in their insolence they transgressed (all)
prohibitions, We said to them: "Be ye apes, despised and rejected."

[al-Ma'idah 5:60] Say: "Shall I point out to you something much worse
than this, (as judged) by the treatment it received from God? those
who incurred the curse of God and His wrath, those of whom some He
transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil;- these
are (many times) worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path!"

As you can see above God commands in the Quran for people to be 'animals' , however this animal state does not change the external body(although sometimes it can i.e if a person is extremely glutenous he becomes large and , gets other physical aspects i.e bad body odour etc, which then changes his natural state and can be easily ascribed to a pig physically) but it changes the soul of that person, in that his soul resonated or imitates the soul of an animal, and a specific animal, as Rumi generalizes where he says from mineral to plant to animal to human to angel etc but in fact the truth is that you might go through all the different animals in creation, because the combinations of habits that the human may do and experiences, eventually falls perfectly to the habits and acts of a specific animal God created, or eventually through all as his actions and habits change

Quran says "Verily we will show them sings[proofs/miracles/other thing] in all regions of the truth and in their own souls until they know this is truth" pertaining that everything is a sign , everything is a miracle, everything external manifested in an internal state of the soul


And what that means is that if there is love for any aspect of the material world, which the person acts upon and experiences and makes a habit out of, in the heart or soul of the person, there is in fact evil, and evil is not the same evil as doing something "evil" i.e murder, but evil is that which inflicts the soul from prospering, it is harmful and suppressing the soul, or as we say "oppressing the soul" from growing or from "returning" to its original state, which is none other then the state of God, because the Quran tells us that God breathed his spirit into Adam when he created his mould, so we are in fact a part of God

So in conclusion to my little glimmer of light, every human being must and hsi whole purpose here is to return back to his original state, to return back to God , and this state as described by many Sufi poets as well as Rumi in the above referenced poem, is the state of self annihilation(or annihilating into God) meaning that you become a mirror of God, you have no inclination to anything of this life(or the lower aspects of the soul i.e carnal desries food/sex/love/hate/anger/pride), and your whole and complete self is completely entrenched into god and all you see is God and all you hear is God and all you become is one with God.

There have been many people who have reached and earned this state, even in our time, and those around them who witnessed them, had witnessed miracles that they can perform, but did not perform for ostentation, rather for a purpose, because they become the "hand of God" and they guide others to God.

Some few things to mention, which could be difficult to accept, but they have control over matter, they can see beyond all the veils of this life and the next, they can see the state of the human soul of others, they can change and command the matter, they can skip through space, and they can overcomes the forces etc, but they never do this for show or proof, they only do this when it is required and God has commanded them for whatever purpose. These men are men whom if you look at their faces there is a light emanating from them and, their presence soothes and transforms lives, and their words are the perfect thing that you needed to hear. They dont manifest themselves they are so blind to this life, but yet they are more humble and simple then any person you may meet.

Now this all sounds very far fetched and fantasy like, but such men do exist who have earned this degree of self annihilation and were given the secrets of the keys of the universe. However despite that they had the keys to the universe, the next life which they can see, overcame and overwhelming them so much , that they did not pay a second to this life and everything in it, because the next life is so huge and grand, that this life is the lowest point of existence.

The prophet Muhammad said that "this life is like a drop of water compared to an ocean of what is to come in the next life"

So you can imagine just how blind and ignorant our state here in this life as compared and contrasted what is going to be in the next life and what experiences are waiting for us.
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